Top-rated cornerback Iman Marshall revealed on Wednesday that he is signing with USC. His decision was made public in a video published by Bleacher Report and confirmed at a televised ceremony later in the afternoon.
USC had long been viewed as the favorite to land Marshall, but he took visits to several other programs in the months before Signing Day. Michigan and Florida State were among the programs pushing for the blue-chip prospect, but Marshall ultimately couldn’t be swayed from the nearby Trojans.
As a senior at Long Beach Polytechnic High, Marshall recorded 79 tackles and 16 passes defended while also contributing on offense en route to earning Parade first-team All-American honors. Poly is a football power located in Long Beach, Calif., and coached by former NFL linebacker Antonio Pierce. Among the prospects from Poly: receiver DeSean Jackson and linebacker Willie McGinest.
The video, which is embedded below, includes footage of Marshall during a game and hanging out with friends at the school and around Los Angeles. It also shows Marshall training and culminates with him slipping on a Trojans cap.
USC has put together an incredibly impressive 2015 class. Though securing Marshall was the Trojans’ biggest Signing Day triumph, their class counts 17 four-star talents and four five-star prospects, including linebacker Porter Gustin, who committed on Tuesday.
Hours before Marshall’s decision was revealed on Wednesday, the Trojans added Junipero Serra (Calif.) High linebacker John Houston and defensive lineman Rasheem Green. USC’s haul recalls its success on Signing Day 2014, when it reeled in top-40 prospects Juju Smith, Adoree’ Jackson and Damien Mama.
Marshall will join Jackson, the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, in a USC secondary that ranked second in the conference in passing efficiency defense last season. Scouts are enamored with Marshall’s combination of size (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) and coverage instincts. He should be able to step into the Trojans’ rotation and help lock down opposing receivers right away.
USC’s influx of talent, coupled with the return of key contributors from last year, should make the Trojans a threat to reach the College Football Playoff.
Wednesday marked the first time in four years that USC was able to sign a full 25-member class because of the NCAA sanctions imposed in the wake of the Reggie Bush scandal. Second-year coach Steve Sarkisian landed arguably the nation’s best haul even though USC never factored into the national title race.